Brinker Reviews

Updated 15 October, 2014
Updated 15 October, 2014
87 Reviews
3.4
87 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Brinker Chairman, President, and CEO Doug Brooks
Doug Brooks
46 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Flexible hours during down times (in 5 reviews)

  • Great culture, great work life balance (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • long hours management can treat you like a child (in 7 reviews)

  • Work-Life balance is nonexistent (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Managrr in Clark, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Managrr in Clark, NJ (US)

    I worked at Brinker full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    good base pay, fun work environment

    Cons

    long hours, high turnover, could use more support

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    more money to managers

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Like a donkey chasing a carrot on a stick

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Prep Cook in Sandy, UT (US)
    Former Employee - Prep Cook in Sandy, UT (US)

    I worked at Brinker full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - The people you work with become family. Sure, there may be people that you don't especially get along with or even like working with, but you still like and respect them as a person.
    - The lower and mid-management staff are very personable and reasonable. They'll work with you to resolve issues whether it be your schedule, rate of pay, or the relationship with another employee.
    - The overall standard for food quality and cleanliness is high.
    - Extra-curricular activities like the annual softball tournament, dodgeball, and volleyball outings help in building trust, respect, and teamwork among the employees, but can also create rifts between people and help nurture social cliques within a particular store.

    Cons

    - Work-Life balance is nonexistent. When I transferred to Utah, I was a full-time student used to working 36 hours going to 55 hours for several weeks in a row. Several times I voiced my concern about the negative impact work was having on my studies and, despite how many times I was told there would be a remedy, there never was.
    - Constantly under-staffed. We never had enough people in the kitchen so overtime was a common thing. I expected to work 45+ hours each week simply because we didn't have the manpower.
    - Willful ignorance. There were several instances where I got to meet mid and high-level managers in the Utah market and voice my concerns, the biggest being the language barrier between English and Spanish. Rather than taking action to bridge the gap like offering ESL or SSL classes, their proposed solutions were along the lines of "make sure there is a bilingual team member on staff," or "use the translator app on your phone."
    - All talk and no walk. There's a difference between forgetting to address an issue and hoping a solution presents itself. There were several occasions where I would address issues to management about waste or quality that would seem to never go any further than that. When a team member consistently and constantly goes against health code and company policy without changing their habits, one can only assume that they are never punished for it. Also, If you form a committee with representatives from each department maybe there should be at least one meeting. Lastly, why go through all the trouble to create training modules and training people to train new hires based on these modules when we just throw them to the wolves without ever referring to the modules?
    - Little room to move up. In almost every instance where I got to meet and talk with mid or high-level managers, my studies were brought up as well as my desire to move up into the corporate structure. Every one of those discussions ended on a positive note but, despite applying to several positions and having a formal interview over the phone I never heard anything back from the talent acquisition department. The CEO told me to my face that the company needed more people like me but they let me slip through their fingers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Listen to your employees more. If they say that a particular job is becoming overwhelming, find a way to help them cope with it better instead of just comparing them to another store - belittling a person rarely motivates them to do a better job. If a person is in a bad mood and visibly displaying it, ask them about it rather than yelling at them about it. Putting them on the immediate defensive usually ends with disciplinary action.
    - Ask your employees to do things, don't tell them to. The phrase "I need..." is one of the most common ones I've ever heard in the food industry and, for an industry based around the guest, is an exceptionally greedy phrase. Eliminate this phrase from your vocabulary and your employees will respect you more.
    - Assign managers to departments in which they have knowledge. I know this is tough because 90% of managers that moved up in the company came from the FOH but it's extremely tough to respect a kitchen manager that doesn't even know at which temperature (in F or C) water boils. The 3 days per station that managers in training receive is not enough for them to gain an understanding for that station or how to properly operate or organize it.
    - Involve the HOH more in team-building exercises and games. The FOH get games every day and night to help boost their sales and their confidence, but there are rarely any of those types of opportunities offered to the HOH. The closest I've ever seen was "Safety Bingo" and the HOH wasn't even told about it until a week or so into the game.
    - Enforce the channels of communication. If the QA is supposed to serve as a liaison between the FOH and the HOH, then it should be enforced that all communication goes through that channel. Servers and To-Go personnel coming around to the back of the line to ask for a side or to explain a ticket is distracting and unsafe. Servers taking food out of the window and not informing the QA usually leads to it going to the wrong table and screws up somebody else's order.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Server in Danbury, CT (US)
    Former Employee - Server in Danbury, CT (US)

    I worked at Brinker part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Teaches great fundamentals on how to be a good server and operate in a fast paced environment

    Cons

    Not a really great chance to make great money as a server, management will always take away tables on the best shifts

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Managing Partner/General Manager in Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Managing Partner/General Manager in Austin, TX (US)

    I worked at Brinker full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, focuses on people first, strong values.

    Moderate room to move up at mid-level. Not much room at the top

    Cons

    No development. Unrealistic goals and bonus structure. No development programs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider more work life balance. True advantages to being a GM besides pay scale.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    For people very passionate about the casual dining industry.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Brinker full-time

    Pros

    work-life balance, casual dress, location

    Cons

    leadership, not selective in hiring policies

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    General Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Partner/General Manager in Fort Worth, TX (US)
    Current Employee - Managing Partner/General Manager in Fort Worth, TX (US)

    I have been working at Brinker full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Money was great after many years with the company. great leadership training

    Cons

    Expectations of performance outcomes were unattainable. It was always stated it was as simple as serving burgers and beer but that was 30 years ago. The dynamics of the company became very complex with entirely too many plates spinning at one time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    very stressful physically and mentally. Very difficult to balance quality of life

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Brinker has ongoing changes for their operations.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager

    I have been working at Brinker full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Brinker has ongoing training and development. They are always looking forward to better their operations.

    Cons

    Changes for the operators happen all at one time and you are expected to excel in every area of change in a short period of time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get to know all levels of your management and team members. Don't just take the word of your buddies.

    Recommends
  9.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Brinker as an intern

    Pros

    Great culture, great work life balance

    Cons

    Change can happen quickly, but some thungs needed for approval may take long to accomplish

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Coworkers, but rude customers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server/Wait Staff in Grand Rapids, MI (US)
    Current Employee - Server/Wait Staff in Grand Rapids, MI (US)

    I have been working at Brinker part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Coworkers make the job fun
    -Almost like a family with the other workers
    -50% off on days you work and 25% off the days you don't
    -Decent money being made if you work for it
    -Flexible hours, and others are always eager to pick up shifts you don't want or can't have
    -New Management already better than previous GM

    Cons

    -Customers are often rude
    -treated like a servant and not a server
    -felt like a punching bag for customers who had a bad day
    -Rarely acknowledged for what we did right, and always acknowledged for what we did wrong.
    -On some occasions, you may walk out of a lunch shift with $8 dollars for two hours of work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    It's no longer the company Norman Brinker envisioned.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager

    I worked at Brinker full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The Chili's and Maggiano's brands are strong and solid within the restaurant industry. Work hard and play hard are still part of the culture. Most everyone there is top-notch to work with. Community involvement is encouraged.

    Cons

    Team building and relationships, although "encouraged" are not always that easy unless you are "accepted" into the clique that runs your restaurant, brand or department. Benefit programs are expensive compared to other companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The "in" people are not always the best in the business. You've let a lot of star players go to the benefit of your competitors.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Brinker Photos

Brinker has fun company-wide meetings. This was circus themed, with senior leadership dressed as clowns.
Todd Wilbur filmed the show Top Secret Recipe on Brinker campus.
Chili

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